In October of 2011, Habitat for Humanity – DeKalb began its A Brush with Kindness program, and since then has helped over 50 residents of DeKalb County.
A Brush With Kindness was originally started in 1999 by the Habitat for Humanity Affiliate in Minneapolis, MN. It is part of Habitat for Humanity’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, and is a program which helps low income and disabled homeowners perform vital home repairs and maintenance. Some of the work that HFHD has done in the past includes roof repair, exterior painting, and construction of handicap access ramps.
“The work we do varies in scope, but it makes such a difference,” said Adam Moreland, HFHD Program Services Director. “Partnering with homeowners to take care of their homes has a huge positive effect for them, and in some cases, such as with handicap ramps, that effect is life changing.”
Much like HFHD’s “Hand-Up” policy regarding homes, A Brush With Kindness participants put in their fair share of the partnership too. Homeowners assist on site in any way they can, often providing refreshments, and pay HFHD back for the work on a schedule tailored to their financial situation.
“I needed a little help, but I never knew they would come out like this. I am so grateful because I know I couldn’t have got this work done without them,” said Ida Thomas, who partnered with A Brush with Kindness in 2011.
The AARP Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo, and the John & Polly Sparks Foundation have all partnered with HFHD for A Brush with Kindness, and have given a combined $124,000 since 2011 to fund the program.